Metals Update 22/06/2021

Treasury appoints Pineault as VP of human resources

Treasury Metals Inc. has appointed Rachel Pineault, certified human resources executive, to the newly created position of vice-president, human resources and community engagement, effective June 28, 2021.

Ms. Pineault brings greater than 25 years of progressive senior management experience where she has successfully lead, developed and implemented human resources initiatives and Indigenous and community engagement efforts for several mining companies. Prior to joining Treasury, she was the vice-president of human resources at Battle North Gold, which was recently acquired by Evolution Mining. In addition, she was Director of Human Resources – Canadian Operations for Kirkland Lake Gold, Vice President, Human Resources and Aboriginal Affairs at Detour Gold, and Head of Human Resources and Aboriginal Affairs for De Beers Canada – Victor Mine.

“We are excited to bring Rachel on board as we move the Goliath Gold Complex through the technical studies, permitting and community consultations towards a construction decision in late 2023,” said Jeremy Wyeth, Treasury’s president and chief executive officer. “Rachel’s vast experience in leading the HR function for mining companies, transitioning several different companies from the exploration phase through to construction and into operations will be a great addition to the team that we are building at Treasury Metals. It is valuable to build a team at this stage in the project development cycle that can take us to the finish line and we believe Rachel’s expertise and experience will be a key addition to Treasury in our goal of developing Ontario’s next gold mine.”

Enviroleach begins civil action against Mineworx

In order to protect its intellectual property, Enviroleach Technologies Inc. has commenced a civil action against Mineworx Technologies Ltd. and related parties in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

The Notice of Civil Claim against the Mineworx Defendants includes, among other things, the following allegations:The Mineworx Defendants, through various agreements with Enviroleach (collectively, "Access Agreements"), gained access to certain of Enviroleach’s intellectual property ("Enviroleach’s IP") relating to the development and commercialization of environmentally friendly chemical formulas and technologies for use in the treatment of materials in the primary and secondary metals sectors.

Enviroleach terminated those Access Agreements with the Mineworx Defendants on several grounds, but principally on the basis that the Mineworx Defendants have misappropriated Enviroleach’s IP in breach of those Access Agreements.

As a result of the termination of those Access Agreements, and absence a license from Enviroleach, the Mineworx Defendants are not entitled to make, construct, use, or otherwise exploit any of Enviroleach’s IP. As the Mineworx Defendants do not have any such license or permission from Enviroleach, Enviroleach has given the Mineworx Defendants notice on several occasions to cease and desist using Enviroleach’s IP and to remove all contradicting representations of same from their corporate literature and website.

Not only have the Mineworx Defendants not complied with Enviroleach’s notices to them to cease and desist using Enviroleach’s IP, the Mineworx Defendants have continued to make public statements in relation to their purported ability to develop and commercialize "proprietary, environmentally-friendly processing technologies for the recovery of precious metals".Based on the Mineworx Defendants’ own public disclosure, absent the prior access to Enviroleach’s IP (which access has been terminated and the Mineworx Defendants are no longer entitled to use), the Mineworx Defendants did not have the scientific or technical resources and capabilities to develop and commercialize "proprietary, environmentally-friendly processing technologies for the recovery of precious metals".

Enviroleach has invested over $30 million and 4 years in research and development of Enviroleach’s proprietary, environmentally friendly processing technologies for the recovery of precious metals, including methods for the extraction of platinum and palladium metals from recycled automotive catalytic converters (spent catalysts) using Enviroleach’s hydrometallurgical technologies. The Mineworx Defendants are now purporting to be competing with Enviroleach in the recovery of PGM’s from spent catalysts using a chemical formula and process based on Enviroleach’s IP and patents without a license to do so from Enviroleach. These actions by the Mineworx Defendants are in breach of the Access Agreements, confidentiality agreements as well as the Asset Purchase Agreement between Mineworx and Enviroleach dated December 19, 2016.

The Company is seeking, among other relief from the Court, general, aggravated, and punitive damages against the Mineworx Defendants and an injunction prohibiting the Mineworx Defendants from using any confidential information or intellectual property belonging to Enviroleach and to cease making any further misstatements relating to Enviroleach or confidential information or intellectual property belonging to Enviroleach.

FP says Noront, rivals hear China cornering rare earths

The National Post reports in its Tuesday edition that a new study by the House of Commons natural resources committee details how Ottawa has failed to secure supply chains for strategic minerals. The Post’s Jesse Snyder writes that the report said: “This study should be a wake-up call for the federal government. It has been made abundantly clear that the overarching issue within this industry is the fact that the federal government has created a business environment where Canada will be unable to meet the growing global demand for critical minerals and, therefore, be reliant on other countries to meet our needs.” Canada has yet to tap its mineral wealth, the report found, because of regulatory burdens and hesitancy among investors. However, the need to secure supply chains for strategic products has taken on new urgency, particularly amid efforts by the Communist Party of China to corner the market for supplies of strategic metals, as well as the 17 rare earth elements, as a way to manipulate prices and supplies. China for decades has invested heavily in acquiring strategic mineral assets in Africa and elsewhere, and now possesses as much as 80 per cent of global processing capacity for rare earths.